SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Parks Say Good-bye to Plastic Bags

SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Parks Say Good-bye to Plastic Bags

4/25/2012 6:15:00 PM

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From Gift Bags to Beverage Cups, Theme Park Visits More Planet-Friendly

SeaWorld® and Busch Gardens® Parks Say Good-bye to Plastic Bags

-- Precedent-setting Move Keeps 4 Million Plastic Bags Out of Landfills Annually --

Orlando, Fla. (April 25, 2012) – Paper or plastic? Soon there will be just one choice at the 10 theme parks of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment -- paper -- as the company eliminates plastic shopping bags within the next year. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment will be the largest theme park operator to make this commitment.

Park gift shops will offer paper bags made from 100 percent recycled paper or guests can choose to purchase reusable bags.

“This is a significant change for our company, one we hope will provide a model for our industry overall,” said Jim Atchison, President and Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “Eliminating plastic bags is an important statement about our commitment to the environment, as well as the need to help protect marine animals from debris. It also allows our guests to play a direct part in making a difference on our planet.”

This move will keep an estimated 4 million plastic bags from entering landfills and the environment each year. Approximately 1.4 billion tons of trash, including plastic bags, enters the ocean annually. Wildlife such as endangered sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, one of their favorite foods.

The company began exploring the concept at SeaWorld San Diego® in 2011, when the park discontinued the use of plastic gift bags to mark the opening of its new Turtle Reef attraction. SeaWorld Orlando® is eliminating the bags this month in conjunction with the opening of its new attraction, Turtle Trek®.

Opening April 27, Turtle Trek® combines naturalistic habitats (sea turtles and manatees) with the world’s first 3-D, 360-degree dome theater film. The film immerses guests in a sea turtle’s extraordinary journey.

Another Refreshing…and Renewable Change:

Also adding to the ways park guests can consume responsibly, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and The Coca-Cola Company are introducing drinking cups for guests made with 85 percent renewable resources as part of a new 10-year partnership. Guests use more than 13 million cups each year throughout the 10 parks.


SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment inspires millions, through the power of entertainment, to celebrate, connect with and care for the natural world. The Company has been creating innovative entertainment experiences that blend imagination with nature for more than 50 years and is best known for its 11 U.S. theme parks, attractions that hosted more than 24 million guests in 2012 and include the beloved SeaWorld®, Busch Gardens® and Sesame Place® brands.  The parks offer guests a variety of up-close experiences, from animal encounters that invite exploration and appreciation of the natural world, to thrilling rides and spectacular shows.  In 2011 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment began expanding its popular brands into media and entertainment platforms to connect people to nature and animals through movies, television, and digital media; plus began developing new lines of licensed consumer products. 

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care.  The Company maintains one of the largest animal collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of species in zoological facilities and in the conservation of wild populations. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment also operates one of the world’s most respected programs to rescue and rehabilitate ocean marine animals that are ill, injured and orphaned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld® rescue team has helped more than 22,000 animals in need over the last four decades. 

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment employs more than 21,000 people nationwide.

For more media information, contact:

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

Corporate Communications (407.226.5257)